My beloved Mt. Tam Church,
Good news! The protocols are in! We will be using the protocols from the State, the County, and the Annual Conference as we begin the planning for returning to our buildings and worship. But don’t hold your breath waiting! “The protocols” are dozens of pages of guidelines and requirements in order to provide a safe and healthy environment upon return. It will take some time and a great deal of detailed effort to create a Site-Specific Plan (SSP) that we will submit to the District Superintendent for approval. I promise to keep our whole congregation informed as we move forward and it will take work from all of us to make it happen. Here’s what is taking place:
1. We have created a Return Team (the football fan in me couldn’t resist) for creating the SSP and doing the work to make the changes we need for return. In addition to Dave Erskine, facilities manager, and me, the team consists of Sue Ernst, Kevin Skiles, and Leslie Lee along with Chris Hubbard and Karen Jernstedt as backup. The Return Team’s job will take the bulk of the summer as we digest the requirements of the protocols, apply them to our situation, and make the proper preparations.
2. We are creating a Reimagining Ministry Group, a larger and broader group of lay members who will envision and imagine what “new creation” God is making through and at Mt. Tam Church for the next 6 months to 5 years. The post-COVID 19 church will not look like the church of even six months ago. Fortunately, we are blessed to be in the position to wildly and widely imagine ministry in the new world emerging. If you are interested in being a part of this creative thinking and vision creation, please let me know.
Finally, I would like to invite each and every church member to take part in one or both Town Hall Meetings on Zoom, to talk about how we are all doing, our concerns, joys, and questions about returning to our buildings and sanctuary. We will also be discussing ideas for the future. You will receive a Zoom invitation soon. The dates are Wednesday, July 8th, 7 P.M. and Sunday, July 12th at 11:30 A.M. As we move forward in our return process, we will host other Congregational Conversations from time to time.
To prepare for the July 8th and 12th, Chris Hubbard and I will be sending out a Survey Monkey about how people are feeling and thinking about returning. If you would please be so kind to respond, that will be most helpful as we plan and get ready for the Town Hall Meeting. If at any time, you have questions, ideas, or concerns please do not hesitate to call me or email me. This is OUR church! We are currently doing all right and we look forward to the day when we can be together again. In the meantime and for the future, let’s dream and dare of new ways of being church, becoming the new creation.
In gratitude and peace,